Frozen Grapetini

Let the countdown begin. Only three days left in 2011 – are you ready to ring in the New Year? To help get you in the celebrating spirit, we tested out our bartending skills and four celeb chef-created libations. Hey, it’s a tough job. So get gussied up, pop some bubbly, make a resolution and cheers with the cocktails below!

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Frozen Grapetini by Giada De Laurentiis
Makes 4 servings 

Giada – you’ve done it again. Simple and sweet, this grape-infused vodka cocktail is delightfully light and lemon-y.

What You’ll Need
12 seedless green grapes
1 large lemon, zested and halved
Coarse sugar
1 ¼ cups white grape juice
3/4 cup vodka
Ice
4 cocktail picks

What You’ll Do

1. Thread 3 grapes onto each cocktail pick and freeze until ready to serve, at least 2 hours.

2. In a shallow bowl, mix together the lemon zest and coarse sugar.

3. Moisten the rims of 4 martini glasses with lemon. Dip the rims of the glasses into the lemon-sugar.

4. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a pitcher and add the grape juice and vodka. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour 1/2 of the vodka mixture into the cocktail shaker and shake for 20 seconds. Pour into 2 of the prepared glasses.

5. Repeat with the remaining vodka mixture. Place a cocktail pick into each glass and serve.

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Champagne Ginger Cocktail by Ted Allen
Makes 8 servings

Ted Allen – the Emmy Award-winning host of Food Network’s “Chopped” – combines sugar and spice in this sweet cocktail. Perfect for a New Year’s Eve partygoer who appreciates a kick!   

What You’ll Need 

Ginger-Infused Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sliced ginger (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup vodka

Cocktail and Garnish
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
3 tablespoons candied ginger, cubed for garnish
1 bottle chilled sparkling wine

What You’ll Do 

1. For the syrup: Simmer water, sugar and sliced ginger in a small saucepan for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in vodka. Chill for 2 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, strain to remove the ginger pieces.

2. For the garnish: Spread the sugar into a thin layer on a plate. Coat the rim of the glass with the juice from the lemon wedge and immediately dredge in the plate of sugar. Add a few pieces of candied ginger to each glass.

3. Pour 1 tablespoon of the ginger-infused simple syrup over the ginger pieces and top with the sparkling wine until the glass is 2/3 full.

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Pear and Sparking Cider Cocktail by Martha Stewart
Makes 8 servings 

Martha Stewart needs no introduction. Her earthy cider cocktail has just the right amount of whiskey to warm you up on a winter night.

What You’ll Need
2 cups pear nectar, chilled
2 cups sparkling apple cider, chilled
2 cups seltzer, chilled
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
1 Bosc pear, unpeeled, cored and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

What You’ll Do

1. Stir together pear nectar, cider, seltzer and whiskey in a pitcher. Divide pear wedges among glasses and pour in cocktail.

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Frozen Peach Champagne Cocktail by Rachael Ray
Makes 4 servings

Rachael Ray – Emmy Award-winning host, author and energetic culinary guru — creates an easy-to-make slushy for grownups. An absolute must-have for New Year’s morning. 

What You’ll Need
1/4 cup sugar, to rim glasses
1 pint peach sorbet
2 shots Triple Sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1/3 bottle chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Optional: raspberries and 4 sprigs mint

What You’ll Do

1. Place a shallow bowl of water alongside a shallow bowl with 1/4 cup sugar in it. Dip 4 cocktail glasses in water, then sugar to rim glass.

2. Place 4 scoops peach sorbet in blender. Add 2 shots orange liqueur. Fill blender with champagne to maximum fill line or up to 1-inch from top of blending pitcher. Place cover on blender tightly.

3. Blend until smooth and pour into cocktail glasses. Careful! Don’t wreck the pretty sugar rims. Garnish with a few raspberries and a sprig of mint and serve.

Click through the gallery below
to see our bar-tending skills in action

Frozen Grapetini
Frozen Grapetini
Frozen Grapetini
Frozen Grapetini
Pear and Sparking Cider Cocktail
Champagne Ginger Cocktail
Champagne Ginger Cocktail
Champagne Ginger Cocktail
Champagne Ginger Cocktail
Champagne Ginger Cocktail
Champagne Ginger Cocktail
Pear and Sparking Cider Cocktail
Pear and Sparking Cider Cocktail
Pear and Sparking Cider Cocktail
Pear and Sparking Cider Cocktail
Frozen Peach Champagne Cocktail
Frozen Peach Champagne Cocktail
Frozen Peach Champagne Cocktail

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